SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) opened a new permanent local facility on Friday that will enhance the agency's capabilities and coverage in northern Michigan.
The new ICE office will house both operational directorates within ICE: Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). It will be located in a fully equipped facility in downtown Sault Ste. Marie. The new 10,000-square-foot facility has improved features, such as an evidence-processing room, modern office capabilities, a short-term holding cell, and other features.
"We have had a presence in Sault Ste. Marie for years, and this new permanent site gives our special agents an expanded work environment and added resources to better carry out HSI's mission," said Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent-in-charge of ICE HSI in Detroit. "With today's event, we'd like to reintroduce ourselves to the community and pledge our continued support to border security and the larger effort of public safety." Moskowitz oversees ICE HSI for the states of Michigan and Ohio.
"Our top ERO priority is to locate and arrest criminal and fugitive aliens, and ultimately remove them from the community in a safe and humane manner," said Rebecca Adducci, field office director for ICE ERO in Detroit. "This new office better equips our immigration enforcement agents with the tools they need to continue to target dangerous criminal aliens who pose a risk to national security and public safety."
"ICE plays a critical role in our national security," said Sault. Ste. Marie Mayor Anthony Bosbous. "We appreciate the strong permanent community presence the new building offers to Sault Ste. Marie and value that these positions add to the local economy and tax base."
As the primary investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, ICE's overall mission is to protect national security by enforcing the nation's customs and immigration laws. Following are some of the law enforcement mission areas that this new office will support:
- National Security
- International Drug and Contraband Smuggling
- International Money Laundering
- Criminal and fugitive alien enforcement
- Alternative to Detention program
- Child Sexual Exploitation - ICE identifies, investigates and arrests child predators and sex offenders.
- Export Violations - Identifying and halting export of arms or technology to countries that are restricted from receiving them by law.
- Document and Benefit Fraud - ICE works closely with local, state and federal agencies to target anyone who uses fraudulent documents, or who illegally receives government benefits.
- Transnational Gangs - ICE works with local law enforcement to identify violent transnational gang members, make arrests as necessary, and ultimately return those who are here illegally to their countries of origin.
- Human Smuggling and Human Trafficking
- Critical Infrastructure and Worksite Enforcement
- Intellectual Property Rights - ICE investigates the import and sale of counterfeit, tainted or substandard merchandise, such as pharmaceuticals, food, clothing and pirated movies, books and music.